In fact, it's the lowest-budgeted Best Visual Effects winner since Ridley Scott's "Alien."
According to Box Office Mojo, the other nominees were pretty pricey. "The Martian" cost $108 million, "Fury Road" cost $150 million, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" cost $200 million, and "The Revenant" cost a reported $135 million. "Ex Machina?" $15 million. "Alien" cost $11 million -- in 1979 dollars.
And you might be wondering why "Ex Machina" took home the prize over such lauded, high-profile titles, especially if you haven't seen the cautionary thriller. While the film doesn't have any giant space battles or hyper-realistic bear attacks, it does have simplicity, cleverness and ingenuity. So much of the effects in "Ex Machina" are essentially next-level make-up effects, replacing bits of human actors with robotic servos and mechanisms. The results are eerie and affecting, and it was clearly enough to wow Oscar voters into making such an unconventional choice.
While the movie might not have brought in the big bucks that the other nominees brought in, "Ex Machina" made a fairly substantial amount of money ($25 million) for specialty distributor A24, proving that BB-8 isn't the only robotic sensation at the movies this year.
Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), his firm's brilliant CEO. When he arrives, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful robot. However, it soon becomes evident that Ava is far more self-aware and deceptive than either man imagined. Read More